You bought her a big, fat diamond ring, planned an elaborate proposal, then got down on one knee and told her you wanted to spend the rest of your life with her. Mission accomplished—now you just have to show up on the right day and time and say, “I do,” right? Wrong.
True, she’s probably been planning her wedding in her head since she was five, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t want your input. So we consulted with top wedding planners to find out where you should volunteer your assistance. We promise the planning won’t be painful—in fact, you’ll even enjoy it. (For more intimate guy-friendly relationship advice delivered straight your inbox, sign up for The Newsletter.)
1. Stock the Bar Let’s start with an easy one: alcohol! For one day, you get to pretend you own a bar and only stock your favorites. Some venues will let you bring in your own booze, meaning you can order cases of your favorite craft beer from back home or ensure they serve your favorite scotch. Even at venues that supply the alcohol, you’ll have a range of choices and can often make special requests. “By helping your bride pick out the beverage menu, you’re making sure the tastes of your friends and family are being represented,” says Seattle-based wedding planner Erin Stroup.
2. Create the Menu Did you know that if you go along with your fiancee to choose a caterer you’ll get to sample some of the offerings? Read: free food. “Every one of my grooms really enjoys meal- and cake-tasting,” says celebrity wedding planner Mindy Weiss, author of The Wedding Book. So not only do you get to pretend you own a bar for the night—you also get to design an entire restaurant. Want to score bonus points with your guests? Get personal. “If you have a go-to guilty pleasure after going out with the boys, think of serving it toward the end of the reception as a late-night snack,” suggests Stroup.
3. Pick the Tunes “The wedding planning task we most often see grooms enjoy is working with the band or DJ to select music for the wedding reception,” says Atlanta-based wedding planner Ashley Baber. Maybe you and the bride-to-be both dig classic rock, or maybe there’s a secret song you know will trigger your dad to bust a move on the dance floor. The sky’s the limit. “Entertainment has to be the number-one thing guests leave talking about,” says Stroup. “It’s not the flowers or the favors—it’s the music!”
4. Dress to Impress Sure, your fiancee might have always envisioned her groom in a full tux with tails and a top hat, but this is likely an area where she’ll give you some leeway to make your own decision. “We have noticed that a lot of the grooms we work with have some interest in fashion and like to be involved in selecting their attire—along with what the groomsmen will wear—for the wedding day,” says Stroup. Trust us, take advantage of the excuse to get a tuxedo or suit custom-made. “It’s not just her wedding . . . it’s also yours,” she says. (Need some inspiration? Use the Style Guide to find a killer tailored suit.)
5. Book the Getaway Car How often do you get to cruise around in a vintage Rolls Royce or speed away in an Aston Martin? “Peruse through various vintage and sports car options to pick the perfect exit vehicle, and note how quickly that item gets checked off the to-do list,” says Baber. This is another example of an area you’re bound to enjoy—probably even more than she would. “It will take a bride over 200 hours to plan a wedding, so help a sister out,” says Stroup. We’ve got just the ride for you—check out our video review.